Cafe Writing ~ February ~ Option 6 ~ Pick 3 ~ February Project: Love Letters

To My One and Only Love,

Remember when we danced all night to that very song at our wedding, even after the DJ had moved onto another tune? Or when you indulged me and sat through Hallmark’s “The Love Letter for the 3rd time? Or when we took the train cross country and people watched all the way?

I woke each day in anticipation of what new surprises we’d encounter, never daring to imagine the trespass the military would make on our life with your activation and deployment so shortly after our marriage.

While you are gone I will continue to fill my days with quilting and homemaking. It gives my hands something to do and pass the endless time you are absent from my life.

It is hard to imagine not waking with you each and every morning and while life gets in the way of all our long term dreams coming true, I won’t stop dreaming. Our separation will be short and our reunion will be a welcome respite from the day to day woes we are currently living through.

I’ll always love you forever and always more,

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January Fresh ~ Cafe Writing ~ 7 Things Option #6

In a mood of faith and hope my work goes on. A ream of fresh paper lies on my desk waiting for the next book. I am a writer and I take up my pen to write. ~Pearl S. Buck

Give me seven things that inhabit or occupy your writing space. Interpret “writing space” any way you please… I have three different writing spaces, really. There is the laptop on the docking station in the living room, the desktop in my studio and the kitchen table.

1) Writing space for me depends of course on what I’m writing so let’s start with the kitchen table. Writing at the kitchen table takes me back to doing my homework as a child after school. Grandma would sit me down at the table with a Coke and a Hershey bar to do my homework in hopes of keeping me quiet enough that she could watch her story (General Hospital) while she did her ironing. Sitting at the kitchen table for me is a comfort zone and brings with it fond memories. I use the kitchen table for menu planning and recipe sorting as well as just about everything else!! Occupying my kitchen writing space is:

  1. Memories
  2. Plants
  3. Bookcase of cook books
  4. A Golden Retriever at my feet
  5. Daylight streaming through all the windows
  6. Snow falling gently
  7. The smells of dinner cooking in the crock pot (Cherry Pork Chops with Scalloped Potatoes)
2) The desk top in my studio is a favorite, but it’s also the one place where I can shut the door and hide it away. So the desktop literally is covered in on going projects and such. Occupying this writing space is:
  1. Quilt patterns
  2. Receipts
  3. Correspondence
  4. To Do lists
  5. Reference Books
  6. The scanner, fax machine, printers, etc…
  7. My Fabric Stash
3) The laptop on the docking station is probably the most used computer in the house. It sits on an old draw leaf table near the fireplace and is centrally located in the house. Occupying this space today (it changes daily) is:
  1. Several cook books
  2. The digital camera
  3. My Krispy Kreme doughnuts coffee cup, half full of cold coffee
  4. The family calendar
  5. Several unfinished recipes
  6. Yesterday’s mail
  7. About a dozen post-it notes of to do items

My mood and task at hand have a serious influence on which of these 3 spaces I choose to use at any given time. It would be nice to clean up the desktop and the laptop are, but I know where everything is right now. LOL
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Seven Tastes or Scents that define Autumn for Me

From Cafe Writing:
7 tastes or Scents that define Autumn for Me:
  1. Apples! As they ripen, they fill the air with a sweet and fragrant aroma that begs to be made into apple sauce and apple cider and apple cobbler…
  2. Cinnamon! I can’t make apple sauce, apple cider or apple cobbler without cinnamon.
  3. Dew! With the early morning fog you can smell the earth as the dew sits on the recently mulched grass.
  4. Burning leaves! Here in the country many still burn their leaves and branches. It always reminds me of a campfire and toasted marshmallows.
  5. Hot Cocoa! After raking leaves and bundling branches we come in for a warm cup of cocoa.
  6. Popcorn! When the evenings cool down we tend to crave buttered popcorn as an evening snack.
  7. Wet Dog! Inevitably it either drizzles, mists or flat out rains on the dog and I have a wet towel to dry leaving the aroma lingering around the back door.

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Write you own Cookbook Review in Progress

While I was catching up on my Google Reader this morning I ran across an interesting post by Michelle at Scribbit.

I have written 2 cook books in the past for family reunions and let me tell you they were serious labors of love and no easy feat using Microsoft Publisher while deciphering everyone’s chicken scratch too. This new website, will make your job simpler. Be sure though to check the supported characters if you have any family legacy recipes that are in need of ‘characters’ from other languages. I know Barbara and I discussed this at length regarding the Icelandic language. I could cut and paste and it appeared to preview well, but Tastebook’s disclaimer specifically says it is not supported. It does support your own photo images though, making it feasible to look as professional as any other publisher out there. They are hard bound spiral books with the option of taking the pages in and out as necessary.

Here’s your opportunity to create your own cook book whether it is just for your own use or you want to print Christmas gift copies for mom and grandma. Give yourself a break an take a minute to check it out.

Challenge 21 ~ Days 15-21

Well the 21 days is up. I have made tremendous progress, but have realized it was unrealistic to try and accomplish my whole task in just 3 weeks, at least not while still living life and dealing with the day to day hassles, issues, projects, work, etc…. I will keep trudging on though until I have a finished project.

21 day challenge – Days 9-14

Days 9-14 have been slow moving, but productive. It takes so much time to sort and read each and every piece of paper and then decide whether to keep it, set it aside to decide later, throw it away or transpose it into a new file for the notebook.

21 day challenge update ~ Days 3-8

I began this challenge as a way to break the bad habit of writing ideas all over the place AND leaving them that way. I wanted to get them organized and allow me to write daily and successfully. While I don’t have beautiful pages to display as the others do, I do have a working journal and am getting the clutter under MAJOR control. So from here on out I will update every 5 days or so on my progress.

The inspirational quotes for the past 6 days are:

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You will imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will. ~George Shaw

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. ~ Aristotle

A wish changes nothing. A decision changes everything! ~UNK

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? ~Marianne Williamson

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. ~Dr. Seuss

Put yourself in a state of mind where you say to yourself, “Here is an opportunity for you to celebrate like never before, my own power, my own ability to get myself to do whatever is necessary.” ~Anthony Robbins

Day 3: Start sorting the 3+ letter totes full of old articles torn from magazines and newspapers as well as the notes written on cocktail napkins and scraps of paper.
Day 4: Start transferring the scraps of paper and cocktail napkin ideas in the proper categories on pages that fit within my journal.

Day 5: Start to read the articles.
Day 6: Decide which articles to keep and here’s the really hard part, which to throw away forever.
Day 7: Decide to trust my own heart and instincts and throw even more articles away. All I really need are my ideas and reference books.
Day 8: Write a query letter to send to Cook book publishers and start researching those publishers.

21 day Inspiration challenge

Day 2 – today’s theme revolves around hard work, stick-to-itivness and common sense. I have stories and ideas in my head that need to get out and as I said before I tend to jot them down on the nearest scrap of paper and let them stack up as I deal with the day-to-day dealings of life, but I’m also an organized perfectionist that can’t always create in chaos, at least not for writing. I’m great with chaos if I’m cooking, quilting or scrap booking. It just doesn’t work for journaling and writing, at least not for me.

I started the day by making this mess and then finished it with the hard work of sorting and categorizing old themes, story plots, character descriptions, making new side tabs for the journal that included all of these plus objective trains of thought, thought provoking questions and surveys, processes, fiction, cookbook, recipes, pictures and references. I stuck to it all day and came up with a finished journal that’s ready to be used day in and day out to create that great American novel someday and a super homestyle cook book. As for common sense, I should have used it years ago to sort through this mess. What a welcome relief to have it accomplished to this stage.

I also altered my graphics for my journal pages so they’re permanently the way I want them.

21 day challenge update

I finished the day one “assignment” in Rhonna Farrer’s 21 Day Challenge. We were supposed to pick a goal to “make or break” in 21 days and follow the prompts to complete it. My goal is to make break the habit of writing ideas on scraps of paper, cocktail napkins, etc…. I may not be able to break that habit entirely as you have to jot the ideas down when the moment strikes, but I wanted an organized journal place to keep track of them all. So my ‘art’ is of a more practical, pragmatic nature since my ‘art’ is writing. I had done something similar in college and it worked, why I didn’t stay with it, I don’t know, maybe life got in the way. I’m starting a new one as a way to break the habit of stacking up those notes and not remembering what they had to do with. With this journal I will have the pages and sections to get all those scraps of paper organized and maybe even get more accomplished. More to come over the next 20 days.

21 day Inspiration Challenge

So I was blog surfing when I ran across Heather’s post:

“Hey All, I admit it, I have been hiding. I have felt so negative lately I just haven’t wanted to spread it around. I am having difficulty focusing and have been feeling very anxious and sad. I hate feeling like this. I am tired of the fight to constantly stay “up”. Logically in my head I realize that this is temporary and probably still effects of SAD but its hard and tiring.”


So I too am going to combat the way I have been feeling and get a kick start by participating in Rhonna Farrer‘s 21 Day Inspiration Challenge which begins March 1 at Two Peas in a Bucket. I too have high hopes for sticking with 21 days of assignments and making some changes in my journaling habits, find my positive attitude again and energize my muse.